Peer Review Criteria


Please note, this is a comprehensive list which includes both Summer and Winter program offerings. For a current list of Funding Opportunities, view the Funding Opportunities page.

Applicants must  fully address the peer review criteria in their proposal as listed below by program type.  To judge the merit of the application, reviewers will comment on these criteria.
 
Applicants should never contact reviewers regarding their application.  Discussing scientific content of an application or attempting to influence review outcome will constitute a conflict of interest in the review.  Reviewers must notify the AHA if an applicant contacts them.

Beginning Grant-in-Aid

  1. Future Independence of Investigator:  Is there demonstrated evidence that the award will promote independent status for the applicant?  The award is not intended to provide enhanced funding for professional personnel working on the research program of an established scientist.
  2. Significance: Does this study address an important problem broadly related to cardiovascular disease or stroke?  If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be advanced?  What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods and technologies that drive this field?
  3. Approach: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well reasoned and feasible (as determined by preliminary data), and appropriate to the aims of the project?  The assessment of preliminary data should be put into perspective such that bold new ideas and risk-taking on the part of beginning investigators are encouraged rather than stymied.  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?
  4. Innovation: Is the project original and innovative?  For example: Does the project challenge existing paradigms and address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field?  Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools or technologies for this area?
  5. Investigator: Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the principal investigator and other researchers?  Does the investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)?
  6. Environment: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of institutional support as demonstrated in the department head letter?
  7. Impact: How does this project relate to and support the mission of the American Heart Association to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke?

Mentored Clinical & Population Research Award 

  1. Investigator: Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the principal investigator and other researchers?  Do the investigative team and mentor bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project?  Will this grant support the investigator's further development into an independent investigator? 
  2. Environment:  Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is the strength and nature of the mentoring relationship appropriate? Is there evidence of institutional support? 
  3. Significance: Does this study address an important problem broadly related to cardiovascular disease or stroke?  If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be advanced?  What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods and technologies that drive this field?  
  4. Approach:  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well reasoned and feasible (as determined by preliminary data) and appropriate to the aims of the project?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?  Does the investigator have access to an appropriate population group for the study?  Does the investigator address issues of statistical power when appropriate? If the proposal is for a pilot study is there a rationale for development of more definitive studies? 
  5. Innovation: Is the project original and innovative?  For example: Does the project challenge existing paradigms and address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field?  Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools or technologies for this area?
  6. Impact: How does this project relate to and support the mission of the American Heart Association to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke?
Fellow-to-Faculty Transition Award

Criterion 1 - Evaluation of the Investigator
  1. Does the trainee have potential for a research career? 
  2. Are the trainee's career plans specified in the application? 
  3. Is this supported by the trainee's academic record and the assessment provided by the three letters of reference? 
  4. Does the trainee have prior research experience and/or publications? 
  5. Is there a clear rationale supporting the need for the proposed training? 
  6. What is the sponsor's assessment of the applicant?
Criterion 2 - Sponsor/Training Plan and Environment
Sponsor/Training Plan
  1. Is the mentor an independent investigator? 
  2. Does the mentor have the experience to direct the proposed research training, as evidenced by their track record regarding productivity, funding and prior trainees? 
  3. Does the mentor have adequate current funding to support the fellow's project? 
  4. Quality of a specific mentoring plan that makes explicit the mentor's ability to guide the awardee's completion of research training and compatibility of the mentor's research area with that of the applicant to support direct acquisition of the appropriate scientific skills and approach.
Environment
  1. Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success for the training experience? 
  2. Is there evidence of institutional commitment? 
  3. Documented institutional commitment to protect more than 80 percent of the awardee's time for research during the training phase of the award.
Criterion 3 - Evaluation of the Proposal

  1. Significance: Does this study address an important problem broadly related to cardiovascular disease or stroke?  What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods and technologies that drive this field? 
     
  2. Approach: A new fellow may not have had adequate time to generate preliminary data. Applicants can present preliminary data generated by the sponsor.  The assessment of preliminary data, whether generated by the sponsor or the applicant, should be put into perspective so that bold new ideas and risk taking by beginning investigators are encouraged rather than stymied.
    Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well reasoned, feasible (as determined by preliminary data or the expertise available in the mentor's and/or collaborator's laboratories) and appropriate to the aims of the project?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?
  3. Innovation: Is the project original?
  4. Impact: How does this project address the mission of the AHA, and how likely will this support enhance PI career development in the area of cardiovascular disease and stroke?

Grant-in-Aid
  1. Significance: Does this study address an important problem broadly related to cardiovascular disease or stroke?  If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be advanced?  What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods and technologies that drive this field?
  2.  Approach: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well reasoned and feasible (as determined by preliminary data) and appropriate to the aims of the project?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics? 
  3. Innovation: Is the project original and innovative?  For example: Does the project challenge existing paradigms and address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field?  Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools or technologies for this area? 
  4. Investigator: Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the principal investigator and other researchers?  Does the investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)? 
  5. Environment: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of institutional support?
  6. Impact: How does this project relate to and support the mission of the American Heart Association to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke?
Innovative Research Grant

  1. Innovation: Assessment of project's innovative nature should account for 40 percent of the overall score.  Is the project original and innovative? For example: Does the project challenge existing paradigms and present an innovative hypothesis or address a critical barrier to progress in the field? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies for this area?
  2. Significance: Assessment of project's significance to the field of cardiovascular or stroke research should account for 20 percent of the overall score.
    Does this study address an important problem directly related to cardiovascular disease or stroke?  If the aims of the application are achieved, will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be significantly impacted?  Will there be an effect on the concepts, methods, and technologies that drive this field?
  3. Approach: Assessment of project's approach should account for 20 percent of the overall score.
    Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well reasoned and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?
  4. Investigator: Assessment of principal investigator should account for 10 percent of the overall score.
    Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work? Does the investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)?
  5. Environment: Assessment of scientific environment should account for 10 percent of the overall score.
    Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success?  Does the proposal demonstrate that resources will be available to complete the project?  Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements?
  6. Impact: How does this project relate to and support the mission of the American Heart Association to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke?
 
Western States Affiliate Medical Student Research Program
Criterion 1 - Evaluation of the Student Investigator
Does the trainee have potential for a research career?
  1. Are the trainee's career plans specified in the application? 
  2. Is this supported by the trainee's academic record and the assessment provided by the three letters of reference (one of which must be from the sponsor)?
  3. Does the trainee have prior research experience and/or publications?
  4. What is the sponsor's assessment of the applicant?
Criterion 2 - Sponsor/Training Plan and Environment
Sponsor/Training Plan
  1. Is the mentor an independent investigator?
  2. Does the mentor have the experience to direct the proposed research training, as evidenced by their track record regarding productivity, funding and prior trainees?
  3. Does the mentor have adequate current funding to support the fellow's project?
  4. Does the mentor provide a comprehensive training plan that will facilitate the applicant's progress towards his/her research career goals?
  5. Does the mentor provide a description of the student selection and monitoring process?
Environment
  1. Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success for the training experience?
  2. Is there evidence of institutional commitment?
Criterion 3 - Evaluation of the Proposal
  1. Significance:  Does this study address an important problem broadly related to cardiovascular disease or stroke?  What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods and technologies that drive this field?
  2. Approach: A new fellow may not have had adequate time to generate preliminary data. Applicants can present preliminary data generated by the sponsor.  The assessment of preliminary data, whether generated by the sponsor or the applicant, should be put into perspective so that bold new ideas and risk taking by beginning investigators are encouraged rather than stymied. What are the specific goals of the project and are they achievable in the time frame proposed? What new skills or research techniques will the applicant learn during the course of the project?  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well reasoned, feasible (as determined by preliminary data or the expertise available in the mentor's and/or collaborator's laboratories) and appropriate to the aims of the project?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?
  3. Innovation:  Is the project original?
Postdoctoral Fellowship

Criterion 1 - Evaluation of the Investigator
  1. Does the trainee have potential for a research career?
  2. Are the trainee's career plans specified in the application?
  3. Is this supported by the trainee's academic record and the assessment provided by the three letters of reference?
  4. Does the trainee have prior research experience and/or publications?
  5. Is there a clear rationale supporting the need for the proposed training?
  6. What is the sponsor's assessment of the applicant?
Criterion 2 - Sponsor/Training Plan and Environment
Sponsor/Training Plan
  1. Is the mentor an independent investigator? 
  2. Does the mentor have the experience to direct the proposed research training, as evidenced by a track record regarding productivity, funding and prior trainees?
  3. Does the mentor have adequate current funding to support the fellow's project?
  4. Does the mentor provide a comprehensive training plan that will facilitate the applicant's progress towards his/her research career goals?
Environment
  1. Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success for the training experience?
  2. Is there evidence of institutional commitment?
Criterion 3 - Evaluation of the Proposal
  1. Significance: Does this study address an important problem broadly related to cardiovascular disease or stroke?  What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods and technologies that drive this field?
  2. Approach: A new fellow may not have had adequate time to generate preliminary data. Applicants can present preliminary data generated by the sponsor.  The assessment of preliminary data, whether generated by the sponsor or the applicant, should be put into perspective so that bold new ideas and risk taking by beginning investigators are encouraged rather than stymied.
    Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well reasoned, feasible (as determined by preliminary data or the expertise available in the mentor's and/or collaborator's laboratories) and appropriate to the aims of the project?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?
  3. Innovation: Is the project original?
  4. Impact: How does this project address the mission of the AHA, and how likely will this support enhance PI career development in the area of cardiovascular diseases and stroke? 

Predoctoral Fellowship
 
Criterion 1 - Evaluation of the Investigator
Does the trainee have potential for a research career?
  1. Are the trainee's career plans specified in the application?
  2. Is this supported by the trainee's academic record and the assessment provided by the three letters of reference?
  3. Does the trainee have prior research experience and/or publications?
  4. Is there a clear rationale supporting the need for the proposed training?
  5. What is the sponsor's assessment of the applicant?
Criterion 2 - Sponsor/Training Plan and Environment
Sponsor/Training Plan  
  1. Is the mentor an independent investigator?
  2. Does the mentor have the experience to direct the proposed research training, as evidenced by a track record regarding productivity, funding and prior trainees?
  3. Does the mentor have adequate current funding to support the fellow's project?
  4. Does the mentor provide a comprehensive training plan that will facilitate the applicant's progress towards his/her research career goals?
Environment
  1. Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success for the training experience?
  2. Is there evidence of institutional commitment?
Criterion 3 - Evaluation of the Proposal
  1. Significance: Does this study address an important problem broadly related to cardiovascular disease or stroke?  What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods and technologies that drive this field?
  2. Approach: A new fellow may not have had adequate time to generate preliminary data. Applicants can present preliminary data generated by the sponsor.  The assessment of preliminary data, whether generated by the sponsor or the applicant, should be put into perspective so that bold new ideas and risk taking by beginning investigators are encouraged rather than stymied.
    Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well reasoned, feasible (as determined by preliminary data or the expertise available in the mentor's and/or collaborator's laboratories) and appropriate to the aims of the project?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?
  3. Innovation: Is the project original?
  4. Impact: How does this project address the mission of the AHA, and how likely will this support enhance PI career development in the area of cardiovascular diseases and stroke? 

     
Scientist Development Grant

  1. Future Independence of Investigator: Is there demonstrated evidence that the award will promote independent status for the applicant by the end of the three- or four-year award?  The award is not intended to provide enhanced funding for professional personnel working on the research program of an established scientist.
  2. Significance: Does this study address an important problem broadly related to cardiovascular disease or stroke?  If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be advanced?  What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods and technologies that drive this field?
  3. Approach: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well reasoned and feasible (as determined by preliminary data) and appropriate to the aims of the project?  The assessment of preliminary data should be put into perspective so that bold new ideas and risk-taking by the beginning investigators are encouraged rather than stymied.  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?
  4. Innovation: Is the project original and innovative?  For example: Does the project challenge existing paradigms and address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field?  Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools or technologies for this area?
  5. Investigator: Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the principal investigator and other researchers? Does the investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)?
  6. Environment: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of institutional support as demonstrated in the department head letter?
  7. Impact: How does this project relate to and support the mission of the American Heart Association to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke?

Established Investigator Award


Generally the candidate and the innovativeness of the science are being evaluated.  The first two of the following criteria must be met to be competitive.  The remaining factors enter into the deliberations, but the relative weight given to each may differ from case to case.
  1. Demonstrated commitment to cardiovascular or cerebrovascular diseases: Has the research program of the candidate focused on basic or applied science related to cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease? Does the applicant indicate a clear commitment to cardiovascular/cerebrovascular research in the proposed studies?  Do the proposed studies illustrate this commitment? 
  2. Investigator Independence: Independence is assessed by publications and research funding as a principal investigator. Is the candidate established as an independent investigator?
  3. Investigator potential: The investigator's potential for scientific and career growth should be assessed by several factors.  These include the applicant's number, quality and independence of publications in peer-reviewed journals, previous research accomplishments, and relevant experience.  Do the reference letters and department head letter support the conclusion that the candidate's career is in a rapid growth phase?  Is it likely that the investigator will have an impact on the field?
  4. Prior or current independent national-level awards: does the candidate's track record regarding funding provide evidence for independence, excellence and potential for future success?  Has the candidate held independent national awards, such as an NIH R01and/or equivalent? (e.g., VA Merit Award, NSF Grant, or PI of a project on a Program Project Grant from NIH). NIH "K" series awards are not considered equivalent to R01. Note: To encourage submissions from clinical investigators, epidemiologists, and translational scientists, individuals with significant funding from national-level peer reviewed clinical and multicenter trials and/or other clinically-oriented grants will be considered (e.g., U01, UL1, and equivalent awards).
  5. Innovative, novel research direction: Described in the abbreviated application. Is the research direction described by the candidate likely to lead to significant contributions?  Does the candidate pose an innovative research direction that challenges existing paradigms or critical barriers to progress in the field? Does the candidate propose to develop or employ novel concepts, approaches or technologies? Does this research direction address an important problem related to cardiovascular disease or stroke?
  6. Award impact on career development: Impact should be assessed based on the letters from the department head and references. Is it clear that the award will propel the career development of the candidate?
  7. Environment: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements?  Is there evidence of institutional support?  
  8. Impact: How does this project relate to and support the mission of the American Heart Association to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke

     
Midwest Affiliate Undergraduate Student Research Program


Evaluation of the Student
  1. Does the student have potential for a research career? If the student has prior research experience, how will they benefit from the summer research program (ex., new techniques learned)?
  2. Is this supported by the student's academic record and the assessment provided by the letters of reference?
  3. How well-rounded are the student's interests?
  4. Has the student augmented his/her school work with extracurricular activities related to his/her school work?
  5. How well-formed are the student's career objectives? How does the summer research program contribute to these objectives?
  6. Will this program provide the student with his/her first exposure to research? If the student has already had a research experience, discuss how this will be augmented with the requested program.
  7. Are there special circumstances, ethnic, financial, physical or social, that require special consideration?
  8. If applying as a student/sponsor team, what is the sponsor's assessment of the applicant? 
Evaluation of the Sponsor and Environment
  1. Is the mentor an independent investigator?
  2. Does the mentor have the experience to direct the proposed research training, as evidenced by their track record regarding productivity, funding and prior trainees?
  3. Does the mentor have adequate current funding to support the student's work?
  4. Does the mentor provide a comprehensive training plan that will facilitate the student's progress towards his/her research career goals?
  5. What is the level of commitment of the mentor towards the development of the student?  How involved will the mentor be in the daily supervision of the student?
  6. Are appropriate plans in place to orient the student to the laboratory?
Evaluation of the Environment

  1. Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success for the training experience?
  2. Is there evidence of institutional commitment? 
Evaluation of the Project Description
  1. Significance: Does this project address an important problem broadly related to cardiovascular disease or stroke? Is there a clear rationale for the project? What is the likelihood that the research will result in a presentation or publication including the student?
  2. Approach: Is the proposed approach appropriate to accomplish the stated research goal(s)? Are the student's role and responsibilities clearly  defined? Are there additional educational aspects of the summer program that the student will benefit from (e.g., participation in journal clubs, observation at research meetings, clinical rounds, etc.)?

SouthWest & Western States Undergraduate Student Research Program


Evaluation of the Student
  1. Does the student have potential for a research career? If the student has prior research experience, how will they benefit from the summer research program ( i.e., new techniques learned)?
  2. Is this supported by the student's academic record and the assessment provided by the letters of reference?
  3. How well-rounded are the student's interests?
  4. Has the student augmented his/her school work with extracurricular activities related to his/her school work?
  5. How well-formed are the student's career objectives? How does the summer research program contribute to these objectives?
  6. Will this program provide the student with his/her first exposure to research? If the student has already had a research experience, discuss how this will be augmented with the requested program.
  7. Are there special circumstances, ethnic, financial, physical or social, that require special consideration?
  8. If applying as a student/sponsor team, what is the sponsor's assessment of the applicant?
  9. Is the student willing to attend and participate in oral presentations/roundtables scheduled by the institution/sponsor? Is the student interested in promoting the Student Research Program?  The student may be called upon by the American Heart Association where they work, live, or go to school to speak at meetings or to become involved in local activities.
Evaluation of the Sponsor and Environment
  1. Is the sponsor an independent investigator?
  2. Does the sponsor have the experience to direct the proposed research training, as evidenced by their track record regarding productivity, funding and prior trainees?
  3. Does the sponsor have adequate current funding to support the student's work?
  4. What is the level of commitment of the sponsor towards the development of the student?  How involved will the mentor be in the daily supervision of the student?
  5. Are appropriate plans in place to orient the student to the laboratory – Is a Training Plan described to teach the student specific research skills?
  6. Is the sponsor willing to provide the opportunity for students to give oral presentations at the conclusion of his/her research experience at a roundtable discussion meeting? The oral presentations provide the students with the opportunity to discuss their projects with other students and supervisors. Discussion serves as the capstone session for the program. 
Evaluation of the Environment
  1. Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success for the training experience?
  2. Is there evidence of institutional commitment?
Evaluation of the Project Description 
  1. Significance: Does this project address an important problem broadly related to cardiovascular disease or stroke? Is there a clear rationale for the project? What is the likelihood that the research will result in a presentation or publication including the student?
  2. Approach: Is the proposed approach appropriate to accomplish the stated research goal(s)? Are the student's role and responsibilities clearly defined? Are there additional educational aspects of the summer program that the student will benefit from (i.e. participation in journal clubs, observation at research meetings, clinical rounds, etc.)?

Great Rivers Affiliate Undergraduate Student Research Program


EVALUATION OF INSTITUTIONAL PROGRAMS

  1. Program organization -- selection process and monitoring of student progress 
  2. Training opportunities for students 
  3. Scientific and academic qualifications of faculty/leadership for the program 
  4. Resources and funding available to students 
  5. History of student research training/ability to attract students

Greater Southeast Health Sciences Fellowship

  • Program organization -- selection process and monitoring of student progress 
  • Training opportunities for students  
  • Scientific and academic qualifications of faculty/leadership for the program  
  • Resources and funding available to students  
  • History of student research training/ability to attract students

To judge the merit of the application, reviewers will comment on the following criteria.  Please be sure that you fully address these in your proposal.
 
  1. Collaboration: It is incumbent upon the applicants to convey the innovative and unique nature of the relationship. How does the proposed collaborative relationship strengthen or weaken the proposal? Does the proposal focus on the collaborative relationship, such that the scientific objectives could not be reached without the efforts of both principal investigators and both disciplines? 
  2. Significance: Does this study address an important problem broadly related to cardiovascular disease or stroke? If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be advanced? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods and technologies that drive this field? 
  3. Approach: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well-reasoned and feasible (as determined by preliminary data) and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics? 
  4. Innovation: Is the project original and innovative? For example: Does the project challenge existing paradigms and address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools or technologies for this area? 
  5. Investigators: Are the investigators appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience levels of the principal investigators and other researchers? Does the investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project? 
  6. Environment: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific  environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support? 
  7. Impact: How does this project relate to and support the mission of the American Heart Association to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke?
 
Mentor/AHA-Mentee Award


The following describes principal factors that enter into the peer review committee’s evaluation of applications. Generally, the candidate, innovativeness of the science, and techniques proposed to effectively mentor from a distance are being evaluated. The following criteria are given consideration, but the relative weight given to each may differ from case to case.
  1. Investigator: Is the applicant an independent investigator (minimum Associate Professor) with a strong track record of mentoring productive prior fellows and other trainees? Does the mentor have the required experience to provide the proposed research training, as evidenced by experience, career evolution, productivity, extramural funding, publication record, and productive prior trainees? Does the applicant have demonstrated excellence/national recognition in his/her field?
  2. Demonstrated commitment to cardiovascular or cerebrovascular diseases: Has the research program of the mentor candidate focused on basic, clinical, or population science related to cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease? Does the applicant provide demonstrated commitment to cardiovascular / cerebrovascular research in his/her current and past studies? Do the proposed studies continue to illustrate this commitment to cardiovascular or cerebrovascular science?
  3. Prior or current independent national-level awards: Does the candidate’s track record regarding funding provide evidence for independence, excellence, and potential for future success? Has the candidate held independent national awards, such as an NIH R01 and/or the equivalent?
  4. Mentoring Plan and Approach: Does the mentor provide a comprehensive mentoring plan which details how he/she will facilitate the development of mentees? What will be the impact of the proposed mentoring plan? How often will the mentor meet with the mentee? Routine teleconferences?
  5. Environment: Does the mentor candidate’s scientific environment contribute to the probability of success? Does the proposed mentoring benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support?

Strategically Focused Research Network

The following major factors will be considered in the evaluation of each Center.  These factors are intended to assist applicants in determining the appropriateness of candidacy.  All of these factors will be entered into the deliberations of the peer review committee.  These factors are not listed in any specific order of priority.
  1. Projects – Potential impact of the project on cardiovascular disease prevention research; strengths of applicant investigators (qualifications, expertise and productivity); potential for collaboration or synergy of projects; scientific content; background; preliminary studies; detailed specific aims; approach detail; analytical plan; sample size; data management; significance; innovation; individual project scientific merit; and total project coordination (within and among projects). Projects will be rated on the following areas:

    •  Approach: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well-reasoned and feasible (as determined by preliminary data) and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?
    • Innovation: Is the project original and innovative? For example: Does the project challenge existing paradigms and address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools or technologies for this area?
    • Investigator: Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the principal investigator and other researchers? Does the investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)?
    • Significance: Does this study address an important problem broadly related to cardiovascular disease or stroke? If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be advanced? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods and technologies that drive this field?
    • Impact: How does the project relate to and support the mission of the American Heart Association to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke?
    • Environment: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support?
       
  2. Training component – A detailed plan for developing and implementing a postdoctoral training program that includes clinical (M.D.) or Ph.D. training in hypertension research; qualifications and characteristics of current and anticipated trainees; didactic and practicum training opportunities; plan for the selection of prospective fellows and how funded fellows’ ongoing progress will be guided via an individual development plan (IDP) and evaluated at least annually. Plan for involving fellows in annual Center meetings and Center-to-Center visits, and for identifying opportunities for fellows to work with established investigators at other network Centers; ability to track trainees; conferences and meeting participation for trainees; documentation of a ready supply of fellows; and history of successful fellowship training for hypertension researchers.
  3. Center Team – Qualifications of the Director to provide scientific and administrative leadership for the Center; experience and commitment of the nominated Director; quality of hypertension research team; qualifications of investigators and co-investigators; experience with hypertension related studies; training experience.
  4. Environment – Institutional commitment, resources and facilities to sustain the Center; institutional resources available to complete the project; analytical resources available to the project; letter from Center Director’s Department Head assuring the department and institution’s support of the Center along with confirmation that the Center Director will devote at least 20% effort towards the Center. Other Center personnel may be appointed to assist the Director in the administration of the Center. However, the Director will be required to devote 20% effort to the Center.
  5. Interaction Plan within and among Centers – Plan for and commitment to sharing of commonly-useful knowledge and methods, providing a stimulating atmosphere for research collaborations, and providing networking opportunities for trainees. Cited strategies for communication and interaction among the Centers.

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Sign up below to receive the monthly
Grants@Heart Gateway.  This one-page
e-newsletter alerts applicants, awardees
and related professionals to upcoming
funding activities, and informs readers
about related AHA/ASA opportunities.



Email:
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Funds are available for clinical, basic and population research.
Go to Funding Opportunites for more information.